The annual Gainesville Independence Day eve celebration, Fanfares & Fireworks, has been canceled because of budget cuts to the University of Florida’s public broadcasting stations, officials announced today.
“It’s especially hard to share this news since we recognize the significance of fireworks on this important holiday,” said Randy Wright, executive director of the UF College of Journalism and Communications Division of Multimedia Properties. “Unfortunately, we are not in the financial position to put on the 2011 Fanfares & Fireworks event, and we are very sorry to disappoint the community.”
Funding concerns going forward forced management to closely evaluate the priorities of UF’s broadcasting stations, Florida’s 5 WUFT-TV and Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM. The decision was made to focus efforts on maintaining the public television and radio programming that serves residents throughout North Central and Mid-Florida and on providing real-world professional experiences for UF’s students.
“We thank the community for their support and we hope to be able to bring Fanfares & Fireworks back in 2012,” Wright said.
The public stations have sponsored and presented the fireworks extravaganza for all but two of the past 21 years.
The University of Florida’s Country 103.7, The Gator will sponsor the July 4th Extravaganza at Silver Springs in Ocala. The celebration features a concert by country artist John Michael Montgomery followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
The UF College of Journalism and Communications Division of Multimedia Properties is comprised of television stations Florida’s 5 WUFT-TV and WLUF-TV; two public radio stations Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM, 89.1 and WJUF-FM; and two commercial radio stations Country 103.7, The Gator and WRUF Sportsradio 850. The station studios are located in the College and serve as a training facility for telecommunication, journalism, advertising and public relations students. They serve listeners and viewers in central and northern Florida.